image19Last week, more than 150 local, state, tribal, and federal partners working throughout Arizona participated in a tabletop exercise as part of the seventh annual Arizona Infectious Disease Training and Exercise. Participants were from diverse professional arenas including public health, environmental health, public health preparedness, infection prevention, nursing, veterinary services, and academia.

The exercise was based on an animal-borne and foodborne outbreak of Brucellosis, with a strong One Health focus. The scenario touched on animal agriculture, food safety, risk to laboratory workers, and multijurisdictional communication and response activities. The purpose of the tabletop exercise was to provide participants an opportunity to evaluate and exercise current response concepts, plans, and capabilities for a response to an outbreak in their jurisdiction. The exercise focused on community preparedness, emergency public information and warning, communication plans within agencies and with stakeholders in other jurisdictions, non-pharmaceutical interventions, resource needs, and public health surveillance and epidemiological investigation.

Partners reviewed and discussed the scenario during small breakout groups throughout the day, and then joined together for the opportunity to hear expert panelists speak on best practices and recommendations for approaching different aspects of the scenario.

Panelists were from the Department of Agriculture, Office of the State Veterinarian; the ADHS Office of Infectious Disease and Environmental Health; the State Public Health Laboratory; and Maricopa County Department of Public Health.